Virtual Gaming Worlds records $380M revenue, books a profit

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Perth-based online social gaming company Virtual Gaming Worlds (VGW) booked an impressive $380M revenue result for 2017/18, up 3.8x from the previous year, earning $5M profit to boot …

There are many who believe that Perth’s tech startup sector needs more success stories. (It is part of the reason Startup News exists.) For with success stories comes belief, and belief is required to convince future investors to back the local tech sector. Which will create more success stories. A virtuous circle we see in other tech centres around the world.

Over the past few years, Perth has brought forward Moodle, HealthEngine, SEQTA, iCetana, Agworld, Power Ledger and others (Canva can still be said to be Perth-founded), and now we must surely add Virtual Gaming Worlds to that growing list.

Founded by Laurence Escalante in 2010, VGW are now on a stratospheric trajectory having more than tripled their income over the past year. They are ‘living the J-curve’ dream of many an unbelievable hackathon pitch, yet in VGW’s case it’s real.

Over the past year, the company paid out an incredible $239M in prizes to customers who have played the various games. A $23M loss from 2016/17 has turned into a tidy $5M profit for the financial year just completed, with a net $16.5M operating cash inflow.

On the cost side, marketing spend more than doubled to $68M, and employees cost $17M (up from $6.8M the previous year).

In particular, VGW’s spectacularly successful games Chumba Casino and Global Poker grew astronomically over the past year.

Chair of VGW, and Startup News contributor, Nigel Blythe-Tinker

Chair of VGW, Nigel Blythe-Tinker believes a major part of the success of the company is due to its Aussie roots.

“Over my career, I have had the privilege of being on the cutting edge of social gaming with the world’s leading businesses,” Blythe-Tinker said.

“The quality of work being developed in Australia in this field is some of the most innovating I have seen.”

“I believe Australia is on track to become world leaders in social gaming innovation.”

One thing Nigel is passionate about is helping to develop the next generation of Australian innovators.

“We are currently in talks with tertiary institutions both here in Perth and right around Australia to ensure that young Australians working in innovation have the best opportunity to succeed.”

A few years ago, VGW had a few people based out of Spacecubed in the city, plus some offshore staff. Today, their local team takes up entire floors in the Perth CBD as well as locations in Sydney, the Philippines, Malta and the US.

It’s a very impressive run up in business, for a company founded just 8 years ago, and another tech feather to add to Perth’s cap.

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You can read the published accounts on the VGW website (pdf).